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More trains, cheaper ticket prices in northern and eastern Hungary

More trains will be available on the railway lines of northern Hungary and the Northern Great Plain, and it will be possible to travel cheaper, too.

László Mosóczi, State Secretary for Transport Policy at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), emphasized at a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday that the government has mobilized significant resources since 2010 to modernize the country’s railway infrastructure. 

After 2016, more than HUF 1.8 trillion were spent on railway investments, he said, adding that the next financial cycle of the European Union will create a unique opportunity to consolidate the position of the Hungarian railways.

Mosóczi also confirmed that the government provided HUF 32 billion at the end of the summer for the preparation and planning of 20 railway developments. Now, the development plans for the Hatvan-Füzesabony section and its related lines, as well as the modernization plans for the Debrecen-Nyíregyháza section can be completed. 

The preparatory projects will provide the basis for the start of construction projects worth about HUF 1 trillion; these should hopefully begin by the beginning of 2022, he pointed out. 

The secretary of state also said that the government is working with the national railway company (MÁV) to complete a modern and interoperable domestic railway network by 2030. This will allow more trains to run more frequently, faster and more predictably. Later this month, there will already be an hourly train from Budapest to Eger, as well as an Intercity train to Sátoraljaújhely. 

Róbert Homolya, President and CEO of MÁV Zrt., emphasized that the railway company is implementing a system-level change and reduced the price of train tickets by almost 10 percent. MÁV will also quadruple the number of ticket machines available on the lines by 2021-2022, with another 375 added to the current 115 machines. Homolya pointed out that the European Union’s climate policy goal of reducing transport-related CO2 emissions to zero percent by 2050 cannot be achieved without efficient, sustainable and competitive public transport. 

Homolya noted that this goal is easier given MÁV and Volán (the national bus company) operate under unified management. Volán will start purchasing more than 700 buses, while double-decker trains will arrive at MÁV in 2021. A public procurement of 115 locomotives and 50 hybrid multiple units is also underway.

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